Squirrels drop series finale in Binghamton

richmond flying squirrelsThe Binghamton Rumble Ponies avoided a series sweep by defeating the Flying Squirrels 6-4 on Thursday morning at NYSEG stadium. Binghamton (23-22) out-hit Richmond (23-20) by a tally of 14-9 to win the series finale. Richmond’s Dillion Dobson launched his fifth home run of the year in the defeat. The Squirrels now travel to Akron, OH to open a four-game series tomorrow before returning home on Tuesday, May 29 for a Camo Cap Giveaway. A full list of upcoming promotions can be found here.

Binghamton pounded out 14 hits, forcing Richmond to work with runners on base in every inning except the eighth. The Ponies snapped a 3-3 contest in the fourth when Jordan Johnson walked Peter Alonso with the bases loaded. Johnson’s start was short-lived due to a rising pitch count and the right-hander was replaced with a pair of outs in the fourth and the bases loaded. Richmond product Connor Overton relieved Johnson and stranded all three runners to close out Johnson’s line (3.2IP, 7H,4R, BB, 5K, 96P).

Dillon Dobson put Richmond on the board first with a solo home run in the second inning. Facing Binghamton starter Scott Copeland, Dobson drilled his fifth home run deep over the right field wall for a 1-0 Richmond advantage.

The Ponies quickly plated a run in the bottom of the second to tie the game. Matt Oberste shot a triple off the top of the right centerfield fence and John Mora followed with a triple that dribbled up the first base line with the defense drawn in. Johnson was able to get Mora out on a fielder’s choice and struck out Scott Copeland to end the inning.

Richmond regained the lead with another run in the third. Luigi Rodriguez reached on a one-out bunt base-hit and came around to score when Ryan Howard doubled off the warning track in right centerfield. Howard doubled twice in the contest and currently ranks tied for third in the Eastern League with 14 doubles on the year.

Binghamton responded once again with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third inning to take the lead. Joey Wong and Jeff McNeil each singled and came around to score an a sacrifice fly and base infield single. Binghamton took the lead for good when Alonso walked with the bases loaded in the fourth.

Copeland (3-0) earned the win by lasting seven innings. The veteran right-hander allowed three runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out six in the victory.

Overton and the rest of the Squirrels bullpen kept the game close throughout the middle innings. In his Double-A debut, Overton allowed one run (unearned) over 2.1 innings. The righty struck out three and walked one. Will LaMarche (1.0, 3H, R,) worked the seventh and Patrick Ruotolo also made his Double-A debut with a 1-2-3 eighth.

Richmond made some noise with a run in the top of the ninth and managed to bring the tying run to the plate before Eric Hanhold entered to record the final two outs to earn the save. Matt Lipka rocked an RBI double off the top of the left center field wall, trimming the Ponies lead to 6-4. K.C. Hobson entered to pinch-hit, representing the tying run with two outs. Hanhold punched him out to end the game and the series.

The Flying Squirrels seven game road trip continues on Friday in Akron, OH. LHP Garrett Williams (1-3, 5.17) is scheduled to make the start against RubberDucks RHP Dominic Demasi (3-1, 5.95). Richmond returns home on Tuesday, May 29 for an extended Memorial Day Celebration.

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